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Dec 28, 2006 05:43 AM

What is Sa Cha sauce?

I ran into a dish called Lamb w/ Sa Cha Sauce at an Islamic Chinese restaurant in So Cal. Didn't order it at the time.

Just a minute ago, I saw Melanie Wong's post on San Francisco board mentioning this sauce, and was reminded of my blind spot.

Can one of our Chinese experts describe this?

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  1. Here's a link to the sa cha sauce page on Lee Kum Kee's site that lists the ingredients.

    It's also called Chinese satay sauce or, less frequently, barbecue sauce.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Melanie Wong

      yea it has a vaguely satay taste to it; it's sort of this brown goop in a hot oil mixture. don't really know what's in it but i put it on everything whenever i'm at my mom's house!

    2. Though the tastes are quite similar, sa char sauce and satay sauce are two different sauces, and you can find both in most Chinese grocery stores. Unfortunately I am not familiar with the exact difference between the two in terms of ingredients they are made of.

      I think Sa Cha sauce is mostly used with beef and lamb, and a very popular conditment in Chinese hot pot!

      1. I couldn't see the Lee Kum Kee website (because my browser is not accepting cookies), but Sa Cha sauce I believe is the Taiwanese anchovie sauce. No peanut sauce involved, yes oil and sediments of fried goodies.

        Satay sauce I think is more of the Indonesian, Malaysian, Thai...origin, where the sauce is cremy peanut butter based.

        1. Here's the ingredient list for LKK's version:
          Soybean Oil, Brill Fish, Texturized Soy Flour, Water, Sugar, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Sesame Seed Paste, Salt, Spices, Fermented Shrimp Paste ( Shrimp, Salt ), Disodium 5’-Inosinate and Disodium 5’-Guanylate As Flavor Enhancers.

          Note that I said "Chinese satay sauce", which has evolved to something different than you'll find in Southeast Asia.

          Here's another brand, Bull Head, that labels it barbecue sauce,

          Ingredients: Soybean oil, Brill Fish, garlic, spice, shallots, sesame, coconuts powder, dried shrimp, chili powder and salt.

          The vendor presents the theory that it was brought to China from Malaysia by the Teochew.